What if you ran the world’s largest produce seller’s convention, and you had 75 tons of fresh fruit and vegetables left over from your floor displays at the Morial Convention Center? Give it to Second Harvest Food Bank, of course.
So Sunday night, some 300 volunteers loaded up fifteen semi-truckloads of fresh food and hauled it to a staging center at Zephyr Field in Metairie. From there, it is being loaded into smaller trucks that will send it to needy families across Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.
“In recent memory, it is the largest single donation we’ve ever gotten,” said Second Harvest’s Jay Vise.
And the need is great. Louisiana has the second-highest poverty rate in the nation with nearly 22% of the population struggling to put food on the table. And this is fresh, healthful food, far better than the canned goods we usually associate with food banks.
“You can’t put a price tag on something this large that we can turn around within 24 hours,” added Vise.
And speed is of the essence. Because it’s fresh produce, volunteers have to move quickly to get it where it’s needed before it spoils. Second Harvest vowed to have all 75 tons distributed to the needy within less than a day of receiving this massive donation.